‘The Office’ Showrunner Steps Down For Dwight Spin-off

Published 3 years ago by

Liebistein leaves office The Office Showrunner Steps Down For Dwight Spin off

The Office showrunner Paul Lieberstein has created more than just simple water cooler gossip with his announcement to depart the hit NBC comedy in favor of a previously announced, potential Dwight-centered spinoff, currently dubbed The Farm.

Lieberstein currently heads up the writing staff and co-produces for the series, and he can be found in the on screen role of soft-spoken HR rep, Toby Flenderson. The possible spin-off would follow Dwight’s (Rainn Wilson) move from the city to the Schrute family beet farm, where he will also be running a Bed and Breakfast.

The Schrute farm has appeared in several episodes of season 8 and idea will be tested out on an upcoming episode of The Office later this season. If received well, it’s expected to make a midseason 2013 debut with Lieberstein serving as showrunner for The Farm, while still participating on The Office in a reduced capacity, which will eventually see Wilson leaving the flagship show.

Lieberstein’s decision comes at a time when the future of The Office is still up in the air. Following the departure of series star Steve Carell last season, actor James Spader stepped in as the new Manager of the Scranton Branch of Dunder Mifflin. Now it has also been confirmed he too will not be returning to the NBC mockumentary after only signing a one-year deal.

Spader, Liberstien and Wilson will not be the only ones clearing out their Office cubicles— Fox has picked up a comedy pilot from actress Mindy Kaling, who plays Kelly Kapoor. Kaling, who is also a writer/co-executive producer on The Office, will portray an OB/GYN looking for love in her currently untitled “Bridget Jones-style” pilot, with The Office co-star Ed Helms als0 set to make a guest appearance.

Liebistein leaves office 2 The Office Showrunner Steps Down For Dwight Spin off

In addition to Kaling, The Office head writer Daniel Chun has his own deal set with rival ABC Studios. No word yet what exactly the deal is, but the news means that with Lieberstein, Kaling and now Chun, The Office is down three of its long time staff writers.

Adding to the shows uncertainty, Office stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer have yet to secure deals for the next season. While still in talks for a ninth season return, the lack of a solid confirmation in tandem with the show’s noticeable departures, leaves the question open if stars and staff alike are debating whether to stick with the long-running comedy or venture on into new endeavors, despite season 8 being great.


More updates on The Office as they come, plus look for The Farm test episode coming up later in this season.

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  1. Season 8 is great??? We must be watching different shows.

    • I have to agree with the gunslinger.

  2. Season 8 has vastly improved and shown us that this show can still be hilarious and interesting. I’ve felt that after the first 5 episodes or so, it picked up momentum, and has been much better than every season since 4.

  3. I think season 8 has been a slight improvement but it’s only mediocre these days IMO Season 6 things started falling apart I have very little interest in watching a Shrute Farms spinoff I’ll stick to parks and rec!
    Mind you I will still watch The Office until it retires from the airwaves the early years were golden and there is still the good episode every now and then

  4. I wouldn’t call this season great, but it definitely hasn’t been that bad. I honestly had thought this season would have been much worse without Carrel, but the writers have managed to spice up the show a bit and venture out into new territories- the whole Florida trip idea was great for ex. Also Spader has done a solid job and is probably the best thing about the show.

    Going forward, it doesn’t seem that they have much steam to go past season 9, as most many of the important characters will be departing the show next season. If Andy and Jim are also out for next season, no way the show can go on.

    My opinion is end the show. I really would like for them to end it in a really funny way- like having Dwight become the CEO and running the company into the ground, this would also set up the Dwight spin-off (which will likely not even last 10 episodes)

  5. I think it’s worth noting that if deals aren’t worked out for Krasinski, Fischer & Helms combined with the people who are leaving fans of the series may be robbed of a proper finale.
    I’m not positive but it’s already April and most shows are starting to or have already wrapped for the season.
    So what happens if they decide to cancel the show? Or even if they bring it back, who wants to watch the show with just Dwight and a few other members of the supporting cast?
    Not me.
    But I’ll admit a show about Creed would be pretty entertaining :)

    • I think a Creed spin-off would be much more interesting.

  6. *Andy replaced Michael as the manager of the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, Robert California replaced Jo as CEO of Sabre. Just sayin’.

  7. Sigh, sounds like they will be closing the Scranton branch soon. As for The Farm, to me it just doesn’t sound very interesting. If it’s just Dwight and Moes, without everyone else it just sounds rather boring.

  8. I still say that when Michael Scott took off that microphone in the season 7 finale, the show should have ended there. It was a perfect ending to the series.
    But, it continued and I watched. I’ve enjoyed Robert California and agree that the Florida episodes were very entertaining and I loved Fkorida Stanley’s personality. However, if season 9 loses the actors/actresses/writers playing Dwight, Kelly, and Toby as well as the head writer and newcomer James Spader, the show has a lot more to overcome than losing the main star. They are losing their writers and lots of the supporting cast, plus ruining the dynamic between Jim and Dwight. Jim without Dwight is like Tom without Jerry (or Itchy minus Scratchy). Ed Helms and Craig Robinson are both funny comedians, but they can only do so much. A 9th season will require a major face-lift and some strong star power to save this show…plus about 3 more writers. NBC will probably hire Chelsea Handler and Whitney Cummings to fill in those roles.

  9. Season has been mediocre a 3 out of 5 if you will. The episodes where Robert California is not around or has little involvement are the best imo. He is good on other shows but I HATE him on here, he is a total ass and so weird not even funny weird again IMO. While 6 and 7 weren’t perfect I really enjoyed those seasons and I agree with one of the previous comments in the episode in 7 where Michael takes off the microphone at the end that should have been the end. It’s so sad that even if there is a season 9 it appears none of the main characters (jim, dwight, andy, or pam) will be around. I hate seeing this happen to one of former favorite shows, I have every season on dvd to me 7 is the last real season of the show and I will not purchase anymore of them. (Steps off soapbox.)

  10. i think adding Catherine Tate to the show will definitely boost the show-she’s funny and a great ad libber..which will only rejuvenate the rest of the comedic actors on there..James spader just isn’t thaty funny…he’s not Rob Lowe or Charlie Sheen…it seems that for some reason he missed comedic timing class while the rest of the breakfast club alumni did..Even anthony Michael Hall or Judd Nelson could fill that spot better-remember Suddenly Susan?

    • Spader wasn’t in the Breakfast Club, so maybe that’s why he missed the class.

  11. Just keep John Krasinski,Rainn Wilson and the entire crew for one final season with maybe a final cameo appearance by Michael Scott and Holly and end it well. I love, that’s right not loved, this show

  12. Season 8 great? Yeah right! The only reason they have viewers still is because of all the dedicated office fans like myself. There is way to much serious drama this season that is unlike the office. Im sure it’s just to keep things interesting from one episode to the next. Everyone is leaving because they know season 9 won’t last. If anything I hope Steve comes back to tie up the office for good. It would mean a lot for us fans, and it would help remedy the destruction, which is season 8. Is no one true office fans on here. If you are, then there is no way you can say it has gotten better since Steve left. Plus this new Dwight and Jim relationship is terrible. I hate it. Where are the amazing pranks that make you love the show. Seriously, the thing I loved most about the office, is how in the biggining of every episode there would always be some chaotic comedy skit. Where is recyclops? Where is Dwight with all his lethal weapons scattered all over the office. Where is gaydar? Where is megadesk? The one thing that really pisses me off is how terrible the office writers have been in developing Andy as a boss. I understand he is no Michael, but take a risk for a change. We need to see the funny perks that make Andy who he is. For example, Michael loved to ride the lift machine in the warehouse, or cared more than anything to make people happy. No way can you let Andy destroy Erin then make things better. No one cares about his new gf, but we care to much about the person he is. The best thing that the office could of done, would be too make Andy try and act like Micheal, but make it so noticeable that everyone in the office could tell. Then you could of developed the storyline and grounded it in this constant character development, where Andy tries figure out who he is. But that didnt happen so the office will be done next season. Well there is my rant.

    Oh and a Dwights spin off would never work, spin offs never work! That isn’t even a risk, that’s just stupid thinking.

  13. I can’t watch this show anymore,sorry. The shark has been jumped. Just take it out to the field and let it go. It’s over folks.

  14. I agree with most of the sentiment here. As a long-time fan,I really don’t think this season is that good. It’s had its moments…the Florida trip was a fairly funny excursion. Personally, I don’t care about Andy and Erin. I do kind of like “new” Jim and Dwight’s dynamic, though. It’s really the only reason I still watch the show. I hate Catherine Tate but, I suppose that’s kind of her role… I just don’t find her funny. Spader can be funny in his awkwardness but, I think he’s better on the margins of the show, instead leaning on him.
    I would like to see Jim and Dwight in a new Odd Couple..or in 30 years, Grumpy Old Men.

  15. season 8 was terrible. The characters were too different and they tried too hard to be funny. Robert California and that Nelly ruined everything.